Nové hrady area and Žofín primeval forest in English

Nové hrady area and Žofín primeval forestForest management in Nové Hrady region has a long and rich tradition since 1790 – 1804. Horní, Dolní and Střední Hvozd are names from the original parcel system that stayed in local use till today. Present parcel system has more details. Forest managers must respect some specialities of this area. First of all it is a management on peat plains that are part of Protected landscape area Třeboňsko – bispheric reserve under UNESCO programme. Hydrological role of those forests is very important especially in this area, because Novohradské hory are rich in drinking water sources. Another speciality is a management of forests that were founded on 2339 hectares of agriculturally unused land in 1950. In the third place that is a management of continual, mainly spruce forests in higher elevations. LS Nové Hrady is also rich in different natural reserves and protected areas, the most interesting of them is Žofínský prales (primeval forest).

Žofínský prales is the oldest /1838/ and the biggest /98,10 ha/ primeval forest reserve in central Europe. Fir (Abies alba Mill.) dominated in original forest composition of those stands with mixture of spruce and beech, little of sycamore maple and elm. Firs partly died out and made place for spruce that stayed dominant for some time. Nowadays is the beech dominating one /beech 62%, spruce 23%, fir 13%, sycamore maple and elm 2%/. Tallest fir (40m) in reserve that was called „svícová“ with breast-high diameter 164 cm and age about 400 – 450 years, fell down in May 1997. Demo object Nové Hrady is orientated on silviculture of mixed stands and their natural regeneration. Area of LS Nové Hrady is divided into three silvicultural parts: Třeboňská pánev /450 – 520 m above see level/, headland of Novohradské hory /level above see up to 680m/ and Novohradské hory with the top Vysoká in 1034m. Geological and soil conditions of this area are rich. The climate conditions diverse because of elevation differences.

Average year temperature goes from 7,2°C in the lowest elevations down to 4,4°C in the highest parts. Average year precipitation are about 680 mm in flat parts up to 950 mm in mountain area. Seventy percent of precipitation come in vegetative period. Early frosts come in September, late ones even in June. Snow cover differs from twenty centimetres in flat areas up to one meter on the tops of the mountains. There are seventeen different forest types based on type survey. Each type has its special management system with basic principles for stand establishment, tending and regeneration. Regeneration of forest stands is based on its steps order, spatial arrangement and sometimes also on amelioration. All the stands are now in the course of manufacture where the group form (for beech and fir) combined with shelterwood felling is being used.

Excursion route:

  • U cesty – regeneration of stand made by shelterwood felling with advanced groups for beech and fir.
  • Mechová blata – ameliorating tree species, their reforestation and individual protection.
  • U Beníška – stand with high level of underground water, in the course of manufacture that is providing access to forest stands with harmless primary extraction of timber.
  • Jezevčí kopec – complex of spruce and pine stands (age 116 years) with underplanted fir, grandisfir, beech, lime and oak since 1963. Spruce is regenerating spontaneously under the stand canopy, pine will regenerate as the last one. Last step of stand regeneration will come in twenty years. Regeneration period is under those conditions about fifty years long.